Following the end of the school day Monday, Oct. 26, Campisi said the district was made aware of a second individual within the district that tested positive for COVID-19, causing the district to work with the county Department of Health and Department of Education on contact tracing.
Following the school district receiving notification of the second positive case, Campisi said district administration had discussions regarding the short-term future of onsite learning at Berlin Community School, ultimately leading to a communication being sent out to parents announcing that all remote learning would be in effect for a two-week period from Tuesday, Oct. 27 to Tuesday, Nov. 10.
According to Campisi, the decision to move to 100 percent remote learning was not recommended by the county Department of Health, but instead one that the district decided to go with regardless in order to best keep individuals safe.
“The county Department of Health did not mandate that we shut down [onsite learning] as long as we could effectively contact trace,” said Campisi. “Above all else, I felt it was in the best interest of keeping the students and the staff safe to move to remote learning for the time being. I want to make sure I do everything I can to reduce the potential spread of COVID-19.”
Campisi said another deciding factor in electing to move to all remote learning was teacher scheduling onsite following the positive cases.
According to the district, there is no evidence to support the claim that there was any school-based transmission; however, Campisi said he felt it was best to eliminate the potential of such a possibility following the two positive cases.
As of the first day of all remote learning, Campisi said the district is not aware of any positive COVID-19 cases regarding students within the district.
During all remote learning, students will login to classes from home while teachers and staff continue to work from Berlin Community School.
“Unless otherwise specified, all staff will teach from their empty classroom using the district provided technology,” said the communication sent out to parents. “Individual teacher and student schedules do not change. The only difference is that we are now remote-only.”
According to the release, cleaning and disinfecting is currently underway of all “exposed areas” and the district is continuing the daily cleaning of all frequently touched surfaces.
Moving forward, Campisi says the district is not looking to change its current school schedule at this time when students return to the building later this month, following the two positive cases. Currently, the district is open for five-day a week onsite learning, of which approximately 65 percent of students were attending while the rest were on full remote learning before the recent switch.
The district did make a change days before the second positive case regarding its middle school schedule, according to Campisi, that dismissed those students before lunch. Those students would still be expected to login to another class after getting home and eating a lunch on their own.